K-12 teachers: Get free professional development wherever you are! EconEdLink members can register for webinars with one click and will receive certificates of completion within 24 hours of viewing. CHECK IT OUT

Grade 9-12
On-Demand Webinar

How to Teach ‘Economic Misery and Presidential Elections’ Lesson Plan

Time: 60 mins,
Updated: March 9 2020,


Teachers will be able to:

  • Identify economic conditions likely to influence voter opinion.
  • Examine economic data to make predictions about presidential elections.
  • Calculate two economic measures include Misery Index and the growth rate in real GDP per capita.

This video is available to view for EconEdLink members only.

In this economics webinar, teachers will learn how to implement a lesson plan that makes predictions about presidential elections.


Many factors influence voters as they decide how they will vote. The economic policies advocated by candidates and political parties are important factors in these decisions. No matter what policies a presidential candidate may propose, however, an incumbent candidate is often blamed for or credited with how well the economy is doing, and many voters base their decisions narrowly on how the nation’s economy affects them at the time.

Certain key measures of economic performance can help to predict the election outcome. This lesson shows how two economic measures, the Misery Index and the growth rate in real GDP per capita, can be used to make predictions about presidential elections.